Everyone rightly asks why there’s no apostrophe in the blog title, and the truth is that it’s a stubborn homage to my favourite band, R.E.M., based on their 1986 album, Lifes [sic] Rich Pageant.
The source for the title of the album is based on an English idiom. Its use is very old, but R.E.M.’s use is, according to guitarist Peter Buck, from the 1964 film A Shot in the Dark, minus the apostrophe:
- Inspector Clouseau opens car door and falls into a fountain.
- Maria: “You should get out of these clothes immediately. You’ll catch your death of pneumonia, you will.”
- Clouseau: “Yes, I probably will. But it’s all part of life’s rich pageant, you know?”
The missing apostrophe in the title is deliberate. Nearly all contractions used by R.E.M. lack apostrophes, though “life’s” in this case is a possessive. Peter Buck once stated, “We all hate apostrophes. Michael insisted and I agreed that there’s never been a good rock album that’s had an apostrophe in the title.”